Even the best sales forces can’t keep every good salesperson. This article argues that a focus should be reducing the negative consequences on customers and the company when salespeople do leave, as some inevitably will.
In short, it proposes a raft of risk management measures during the withdrawal period, the vacancy period and the hiring or orientation period.
This includes advice on shortening the vacancy period through aggressive and proactive sales force recruiting. This talent pipelining creates a virtual bench of promising understudies who are known, engaged, warm, aware of the culture and are partly assessed.
At Collingwood, we’d go further than saying that you would pipeline to manage risk. Pipelining is, in fact, more of an offensive approach rather than defensive. Strong sales teams are often, concurrently, strengthening their brand be it through becoming consultative or through re-engineering products or ways of buying. So, if sales is evolving why shouldn’t the pipeline? Pipelining permits an opportunity to gradually bring in people who are stronger than those who have left. Or people who are more in line with where your company is heading rather where it was last week.
Download your free guide to talent pipelining here.
At Collingwood, we research and shape talent pipelines that reflect the rhythm of our clients’ growth and advise them on the options, be that engaging now with a ready-now sales manager or maintaining contact with a high potential who’ll be better prepared in the near future.
Companies facing high sales force turnover situations can try to reduce undesirable loss of salespeople, but they should also use another strategy, by taking steps to reduce the negative consequences on customers and the company when salespeople do leave, as some inevitably will. These strategies focus on minimizing sales loss during three critical phases surrounding a salesperson’s departure – the withdrawal period, the vacancy period, and the hiring/orientation period.